Talia Richard-Carvajal is in pursuit of perfection. She’s a baker (a star baker, one might say) who is now also the creative director of Hart Bageri. It’s certainly Copenhagen’s, and perhaps even the world’s, best bakery—and Richard-Carvajal is just 32 years old.
This isn’t a bakery like the ones you see on TikTok, where a middle-aged dude makes a life-sized dragon out of tempered chocolate but you just know it tastes like a three-week-old Easter egg. Nor it is a bakery that’s all about style over substance, where everything looks like a coffee bean but tastes much too sweet. Hart, with Richard-Carvajal at the helm, is in pursuit of both a style and a substance all of its own: the perfect bake, the perfect croissant, the perfect cardamom bun, city loaf, rye bread, Tebirkes, Spandauer.
“Richard [Hart, the bakery’s founder] taught me that we might only achieve the perfect bake twice a year,” Richard-Carvajal says, “but it is in the pursuit of that perfection that we find something, often, better. That we refine a process. Richard’s philosophy is one of evolution, one where we are competing only with ourselves: where we better what we did the previous year, the previous day, the previous bake, by questioning it.”
Hart Bageri has made waves in the food world since its opening in 2018 by legendary bread man Richart Hart, who is perhaps best known for popularizing the sourdough loaf in America while serving as head baker at the iconic San Francisco bakery Tartine. When Hart decided to move to the Danish capital, he received the support of the now-shuttered world number one restaurant Noma—because, of course, they had to have the best bread for themselves. (Hart Bageri began baking out of Noma’s kitchens in the east of the city.) A plucky, mid-twenties Richard-Carvajal—after she’d completed training at Le Cordon Bleu in London, followed by a grueling but transformative stint in the kitchen at Claridge’s—then decided to knock on the door and ask Richard for a coffee. “He took me to Noma where he was baking bread out of their greenhouses and told me he was going to start a bakery,” she recalls. “And I started working for him the next day.”